College Football Reporter/Columnist

Bob Asmussen is a college football reporter and columnist for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@BobAsmussen).

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In his 30th year on the Illinois football beat, AP Top 25 voter Bob Asmussen is on call 24/7. Submit your questions BY CLICKING HERE and he’ll chase down answers.


Lovie Smith.


What is your take on Lovie’s beard? I think that it looks terrible and hurts our recruiting Tom

Bob says ...

There is a long tradition during the NHL playoffs for the players to grow beards. They don’t shave until they get knocked out. It’s another cool hockey tradition like handshakes at the end of a playoff series and passing the Stanley Cup during the offseason.

Several years ago, current Big Boss Jim Rossow got the bright idea that the sports staff would grow playoff beards. We each picked a team and weren’t allowed to shave until they lost. I was never so thrilled to see the San Jose Sharks get eliminated than I was that season.

My beard was weak. Actually, the better term would be scraggly. And it was partly gray. I’m ugly enough without having a gross looking beard.

2018-19 Illinois Athletics Year in Review

So, I am not about to make fun of Lovie Smith’s beard. If he likes it, I say go for it. To me, it doesn’t seem like a good plan in the hot summer months. It seems to be a good idea during the winter, although a frozen beard can’t be fun.

I know I will never have a beard. But I think it’s fine if the football coach wants to wear one.